Business Processes Automation

Alex Tarasenko
Alex Tarasenko

Continuing the discussion on evolutionary processes in the business world, it is impossible to avoid talking about a crucial driver of enterprise progress like automation.

Indeed, one can hardly overestimate the importance of automating routine activities when it comes to increasing a company’s efficiency. Ever since the beginning of the industrialization era, abandoning manual work in favor of streamlined production whenever possible has helped to radically boost outputs across industries, cutting down shift hours and improving the working conditions in the meantime.  

As for the present day, the main goals of business process automation (BPA) are to increase service quality, improve audience reach, and cut spendings. Digital transformation is the only way to do it in 2020. And with over 45% of all paid activities worldwide suitable for automation, this is actually a trillion-dollar question. 

Don’t rush to hire an IT development team just yet, though! First of all, it’s important to clearly understand the advantages of business process automation, as well as to know the aspects of the operation that can be mended and improved with this approach.  

First, let’s look into the clear advantages of business process automation.

Benefits and drawbacks of automated business processes 

BPA as a part of your company’s digital transformation strategy may sound like yet another item in the list of things you didn’t want to do in the first place. Or, you may have heard that it’s too expensive to implement. 

In both cases, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

Speaking of complexity, automating business processes is not nearly as cumbersome as executing all of it in the “good old” manual way. In fact, you can usually set up and use the software all by yourself. What comes to the budget, it is fair to say that the cost of the majority of BPA tools is ridiculously minuscule as compared to the monetary equivalent of the time, effort, and risks that are associated with not using it. 

At its core, the three main points in favor of using BPA software are:

Elevated value of work. 

Delegating the grunt work to the algorithms, you are allowing your employees to invest their time and cognitive power into solving problems that require expertise and creativity intrinsic to human nature/ which only they possess. In most cases, these tasks bring the highest value to the company.    

Happier employees.

Very few of us genuinely enjoy the menial tasks usually taken over by software as part of the automatization efforts. Take this weight off of your workers’ shoulders, and you’ll create a direct opportunity to increase not only their daily work satisfaction but also the long term loyalty to your company – which is a key driver of business growth

Minimized “human factor”

Regardless of how brilliant, attentive, and responsible your employees are, we are all just human beings. Even if your team’s workflow is smooth like a clockwork, something will can off here and there. Either a customer’s question was left unanswered, or an email remained in the draft – you can never know. 

A machine, on the other hand, doesn’t have good or bad days, is never distracted, and has nowhere to rush on a Friday evening. Which makes a poor buddy, but a perfect assistant to sort through the multitude of daily tasks.   

As for the drawbacks of using modern business process automation solutions, essentially there are none. The more processes you manage to automate the more efficient your business will be. 

Business Process Automation in history

Now, let’s go over the particular areas of business we can automate via modern software technology. 

Application areas of business process automation

There are 5 main business areas digital transformation can be applied to increase efficiency. Let’s go over them one by one. 

Operation

Managing everyday activities can be challenging without the right tech solutions. Things get even more complicated at big, complex projects with multiple departments, a number of team leads, and a whole bunch of managers overseeing technical specialists. Let’s face it: an environment like this can turn a basic request into an executive nightmare without a properly established communication protocol.

Business Process Management (BPM) software relieves all that headache. It allows you to track, manage, and supervise all of your operational activities, accessing it through a dashboard’s convenient interface. So, you can see what each of your employees is working on, their progress, issues, and task deadlines – all in one place. 

More so, the approval process becomes much more simple, transparent, and quick. With no need to make a run around the departments to get approval from managers on each executive level, the operation process won’t stall whenever important questions arise. 

This helps to not only simply and automate daily routine, but also optimize the entire workflow. And as we all know – increased efficiency means boosting the profits in a world where time equals money.        

Task management

Those who have worked in a team without using task management tools will recognize the following picture. Responsibilities mixed up, tasks fulfilled incompletely, deadlines missed, and an overall mess in the production process. Team communication established through Skype… 

Does it sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Forget about efficiency, just having the tasks done is already a challenge in such a situation. 

Luckily, you can automate these business processes with kanban solutions like Trello, ClickUp, or Monday.com

Task management software is a great solution to these problems. It allows teams and departments to stay on the same page and maintain effectiveness when fulfilling a common task. Or, it can help to improve the flow of working on consecutive, intersecting objectives. 

Customer support

Customer support is an essential aspect of any business operating in the digital realm these days. It is also one of the defining traits influencing the audience’s engagement with your service or product. Now, the bigger the user flow – the harder it becomes for your support team to sort through all the incoming requests and resolve customer issues. 

Naturally, putting your precious clients or prospects in an endless line is not a wise option. Relying on customer support software, to the contrary, is a fail-proof solution to automate these processes. With advanced algorithms and human-like chatbots, these tools may not only cover the gap in employee resources but even exceed your expectations and outperform real people in resolving your clients’ issues. 

To boost effectiveness, you can compose a list of the most frequently asked questions and problems clients come up with. First, identify prevalent keywords. Then, develop ready responses or action sequences and integrate it into the system. This way, even a small effort may have a major effect on your customers’ positive user experience and save your experts’ time so they can focus on rarer and more sophisticated issues. 

There you go – a smooth and reliable customer support service with ultimate efficiency and no friction.  

Document turnover 

Document turnover is another meticulous task you can automate using appropriate software tools. Convenience and time consumption are extremely important when it comes to everyday paperwork, which is unavoidable for businesses of all shapes and forms. 

In this regard, a smart document management solution like the one built by our team can save both your time and nerve cells. It enables you to view, share, and sign documents on the go, effortlessly, and without delays. 

This is especially useful when dealing with extensive documentation that is shared and/or has to be signed by several parties. Great for employee onboarding, budget approvals, contracting, etc. 

Social media

Last but not least – the automation of social media marketing activities. 

While bigger or more SM-centric companies can easily hire a dedicated specialist that will take care of these things, smaller businesses and startups may find that there are better ways of investing a few thousand dollars this year. That said, spending your own or your essential employees’ precious time on posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram – may turn out even more costly.  

In this case, an SMM automation tool like Buffer seems more than legit. With it, you can schedule and make posts to all of your social media marketing channels simultaneously and hassle-free. 

global potential of business process automation

The bigger picture 

Here’s the catch – the points covered in the article are just landmarks for you to navigate your digitalization strategy upon. Very probably, you’ll find it possible to automate many of your business’s specific processes. The rule of thumb here is that anything that’s recurrent and requires predictable actions – can be automated to your benefit. 

In any case, it will probably fit in with the bigger strategy of your business’s management or improvement. 

Need help automating your business activities? MintyMint team is always here to help!